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Woolpert and Optimal GEO JV Wins MAPPS Grand Award for Lidar Collection After Hurricane Maria

Woolpert and Optimal GEO were presented with the MAPPS Award for Data Acquisition & Processing and the MAPPS Grand Award for their “Hurricane Maria: Rapid-Response Lidar Collection” project at the organization’s 13th annual Geospatial Excellence Awards, held last week in Honolulu. The project was performed by WMR-532, the joint venture of Woolpert and Optimal GEO, in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX).

For this project, WMR-532 collected topographic and bathymetric lidar, digital imagery and hyperspectral imagery data along the Puerto Rico coastline after Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017. The perishable data and imagery helped local, state and federal decision-makers assess immediate post-storm damage to aid in response, recovery and resilience efforts, and to help the island better prepare for and mitigate the impact of future storms.

Woolpert Geospatial Program Director Mike Meiser and Optimal GEO Chief Operating Officer Mark Brooks accepted the award on behalf of the firms.

“Woolpert and Optimal GEO are honored to support the great work of the USACE and JALBTCX by collecting this data, which has proved to be an invaluable tool in preparing for and recovering from natural disasters such as this,” Meiser said.

MAPPS is an organization of more than 100 private-sector firms that have thought leaders in geospatial fields that include mapping, surveying, photogrammetry, remote sensing, hydrography, and GPS and GIS data collection.

“The Hurricane Maria project was successful due to the combined efforts and capabilities of Woolpert and Optimal GEO in collaboration with JALBTCX personnel on the ground in Puerto Rico,” Brooks said. “We’re pleased that MAPPS recognized the entire team with the Grand Award.”